Ahead of their forthcoming debut record ‘Black Light’ out August 27th 2021, New York City quartet Dakota Jones dropped by to speak about their musical influences, why music was always written in their stars and the best advice they’d give to their younger self.
To anyone new to your music, name 3 words that best describe your sound.
Funky, sexy, and vulnerable
What made you decide that music is the right path for you?
I’ve been singing and making music since I was a child, but singing in public was always my greatest fear. I’ve known that this is what I was supposed to do for forever, but getting in front of crowds always scared the life out of me. One day, the drummer of Dakota Jones, Steve Ross, asked me to start jamming with him and his friend, and I said absolutely not – out of fear. However I ended up being convinced into it, and one day we wrote a song. From then on I knew that I no longer had a say in the matter, and that we needed to start performing, and I needed to just feel my fear and do it anyway. And now here we are.
What’s your writing process like? Do you write the music or lyrics first?
My songwriting process can be a very fickle one, rather my muse is quite fickle. Inspiration strikes when it strikes, and if it’s not there, I don’t force it. I suppose that’s really the best way for me to ensure that it’s my true self coming through, making sure that nothing is forced. I never sit down with the intention of writing, I just get hit with something and follow it. Usually the songs come to me in one whole piece, melody included. So I never spend more than 5-10 minutes writing a song. If I have to toil over the lyrics, it just doesn’t feel genuine. So it’s great to have a song done in 5 minutes, but the flip side of that is that I can’t control when the muse comes.
Who are your main musical influences and why?
Chaka Khan, David Bowie, Grace Jones, Robert Plant- anyone who is relentlessly themselves, and seemingly fearless. Plus having a stunning voice doesn’t hurt.
What’s the best advice you’d give to your younger self?
Don’t be so self-critical, and that it’s okay to be afraid, but you have to feel the fear and do it anyway.